Second Chances 2-4-1 by Alana Lorens
Please gather round as fellow WRP author Alana Lorens joins me on the Ranch today to tell us about not one, but TWO, fabulous books! I’ll turn it over to Ms. Lorens now. Grab a drink and Li’l Smokey and settle in!
When I met my husband, I was almost exactly twice his age. He was so young in fact, that when I picked up my daughter from college, the girl at the front desk turned to her and commented “Go, your mom!” Talk about an ego boost. J
We met by chance on the internet and in the forum where we both hung out, there was no discussion of age and it didn’t really pertain to the conversation. By the time we were in love, it was too late to matter.
All the same, over the years we’ve been married, many people have found it necessary to comment on the difference in our ages, much more so when he was 24 and I was 44, than now, twelve years later. That societal bias that makes it “dashing” for a man to date a woman half his age and makes a woman doing the same a “cougar” does carry an impact. Hasn’t changed how my husband and I feel about each other, of course, and the older we get, we’re both just getting old. *LOL*
But in Second Chances, middle-aged Inessa Regan, disastrously married in the past, has no intention of falling for the twenty-something Iraq veteran who becomes a friend when she feels she can find no one else – and then becomes more than that. The perceived taboo resonates within her, but Kurt himself dispels her misgivings with a poignant explanation of where she finds him in his life:
What she’d read in his eyes wasn’t professional in the least. What burned there was a passion–and very personal. But what could he possibly see in an overweight, insecure, rut-bound legal drudge on the wrong side of forty?
She cleared her throat. “I suppose I should be getting back to the office. I’ve interrupted your reading.”
Kurt picked up the book to reveal the James Patterson mystery she had just finished. “This is my second time through. Sometimes his chapters move so fast I miss things, especially when I’m not feeling so hot. But I know how it comes out. Not nearly as interesting as this…you.” His smile hadn’t faded.
She resisted the flush that crept up her skin.
“Look, Kurt, I—”
“Inessa. I know you think I’m moving fast here. The normal conventions of such things require what? Phone calls? Four-point-five dates? A couple of bouquets of flowers, a box of chocolates, a night on the town? Weeks and months of playing games?” He shoved the afghan aside and leaned forward, close enough to take her hand. But he didn’t. “Honey, I don’t know if I have months. Or weeks. The only bouquet of flowers I’m likely to get is the one my mother puts on my grave. I don’t have time to waste. When I see what I like, I’ve got to move on it right then or risk missing the chance forever.”
Speechless, unable to find her voice to interrupt and feeling a bit like she was falling from an airplane without a parachute, she listened helplessly as he pushed on.
“Now, if you’re not interested, say so. I won’t waste your time, either. And let’s not have any stupid argument about how much younger I am, or the fact I’m dealing with the damned cancer, or any kind of ethical mumbo-jumbo about lawyers and clients. We’ve moved past that. Your legal work for me is done. We’re more to each other than that now. No excuses.”
He paused, studying her.
“You’re bright. You’re funny. You can be a real blast when you let yourself go. Which you don’t very often, and I don’t know all the whys yet. I may not—ever. Trust me, I’d like to. But I’m willing to take the chance because I want to get to know you better.”
Another long pause. Inessa was overwhelmed and unable to reply, almost blindsided by his declaration of feeling. He must have detected her inner whirlwind, and he chuckled, breaking the tension.
“Wow, look at me. Smooth, huh? It takes me this long to even get you to step foot in my apartment, and the first time, I drop all this on you. I’m sorry. Really, I am. I mean, sitting up here alone, I have too much time to think about things.” He sat back, his features morphing into a puppy-dog expression. “Can you tell I rehearsed that? Over and over. I know it’s sudden. I wanted it to sound at least halfway sane. Did it? Halfway?”
His face finally suffused with red as she tried to think of some reply, and he stumbled on.
“See, I knew you’d back away as soon as I said it. I mean, what do I possibly have to offer, a guy chewed up and spit out by the army, dying of cancer, with a psychotic sister that I—” He coughed, visibly got hold of himself, rubbed his face as though he wanted to erase himself from her view. “Look, my problem, okay? I’m sorry.”
Inessa wasn’t sure what she found more surprising, his sudden declaration of interest or his assumption he was the one who was unworthy. Her heart went out to him.
“Don’t be sorry,” she said at last. “I understand what you’re saying. I can’t possibly understand what you must be feeling with the last ten years hanging over you—the hospitals, the treatments, the war. All of it. None of us know when we’ll die, but I expect you have a better idea than most.” She nodded, trying to put her words into coherent order before sharing them. “It’s just—”
He held up a warning finger.
DUAL BOOK/BLOG TOUR!!
CONVICTION OF THE HEART (available NOW!) BUY: http://www.amazon.com/Conviction-of-the-Heart-ebook/dp/B0089PTPAO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1340681262&sr=1-1&keywords=alana+lorens
And SECOND CHANCES (release date July 2012) BUY: http://www.amazon.com/Second-Chances-ebook/dp/B008CVY09Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1340681117&sr=1-1&keywords=second+chances+alana+lorens
The first and Second books of the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyer Series!
Come by the following blogs or live booksignings and leave a comment to be entered in a drawing—at the end of the tour, Alana will give away one ebook copy of each book and one paperback copy of each book—Four lucky winners! Check out all the websites athttp://alanalorens.com
Inessa Regan, a 10-year associate at a Pittsburgh law firm, gets a pink slip when the economy tanks. Insecure, her pride wounded, she flounders helplessly until she meets Kurtis Lowdon, a man 15 years younger than she, an Iraq War veteran with cancer. He helps her take the first steps back from the pit of despair after she loses everything that defines her.
First as her client, then as her landlord, then as her partner, Kurt shows her the power of believing in oneself. Their journey is tainted with secrets from Kurt’s own past, as well as some of the horrors of war that have followed Kurt and his friends home from overseas. When his cancer returns, she must take control of her own life and fight to survive. His battle teaches her how to live; and she risks everything she holds dear to save him.
Alana Lorens (aka Barbara Mountjoy) has been a published writer for over 35 years, including seven years as a reporter and editor at the South Dade News Leader in Homestead, Florida. Her list of publications includes the non-fiction book 101 Little Instructions for Surviving Your Divorce, published by Impact Publishers in 1999, stories in A Cup of Comfort for Divorced Women, in December 2008, and A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Parents, in June 2009. Her Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series (as Lyndi Alexander) is available from Dragonfly Publishing; THE ELF QUEEN in 2010, THE ELF CHILD in 2011, and THE ELF MAGE in 2012.
Her newest release (as Alana Lorens) is SECRETS IN THE SAND, in the Crimson Rose line from The Wild Rose Press. CONVICTION OF THE HEART is her sixth published novel, which will be followed in July 2012 with SECOND CHANCES, a women’s fiction with romantic elements story. The Wild Rose Press is also publishing her contemporary romance novella THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE later this summer.
When she’s not busy writing, practicing law or teaching, she takes care of a husband and a bunch of kids and blogs on a variety of subjects, including autism, science fiction and life at Awalkabout.
And what lovely book cover you’ve been graced with, Alana!!! Congratulations!